Game Preview: A's vs. Blue Jays - July 20, 2004

The A's look to bounce back from a tough loss to the Blue Jays in the second of a short two-game series. The A's lost an opportunity to gain on Texas, Anaheim, and Boston when they fell to Toronto last night.

Toronto Blue Jays (40-52), W-1 v. Oakland Athletics (50-41), L-1

Date: July 20, 2004
Time: 12:35 P.S.T.
Place: Network Associates Coliseum - Oakland, CA

Preview: The Blue Jays have not helped the A's lately. Following six straight losses to Anaheim and Texas, Toronto beat Oakland last night 5-3 behind the pitching of Josh Towers. Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells homered for the Blue Jays as the A's fell short in their bottom of the ninth rally when Mark McLemore grounded out with two men on base. Texas and Anaheim also lost last night allowing the A's to remain 2.5 games behind the Rangers and 1.5 games ahead of the Angels.

Pitching Matchup:

Toronto – David Bush, RHP (0-1, 3.86 ERA)
Oakland – Rich Harden, RHP (4-5, 4.33 ERA)

David Bush: Bush is a 24 year-old rookie out of Wake Forest University who is making his third career start. He received the loss in his first game despite allowing just one run in 5.2 innings against the Expos as Toronto was shut-out 2-0. His last start was against the Mariners and he received a no-decision as he allowed four runs on ten hits in six innings of work in a 10-8 victory. Bush has yet to allow a homerun and opponents are hitting .311 against him.

Rich Harden: Harden is coming off of his best start of the year, possibly his career, as he pitched eight strong innings against the White Sox allowing just two runs on four hits in a 4-2 victory. It was his first win since June 9th against Cincinnati and some big factors in his performance was walking just one batter and getting 13 groundball outs. Harden faced Toronto earlier this year and pitched well giving up just one run in seven innings of work to get a no-decision in a 6-1 loss.

Pitcher v. Batter Matchup:

Harden v.:
Wells, V – 3 for 6 – 2 2B, 1 K
Johnson, R – 2 for 6 – 1 2B, 2 K
Hinske, E – 2 for 5 – 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 K
Zaun, G – 1 for 3 – 1 K
Menechino, F – 0 for 3 – 1 K
Delgado, C – 0 for 2 – 1 BB, 2 K
Hudson, O – 1 for 2 – 1 RBI
Rios, A – 0 for 2

Bush v.:
Has not faced any Athletics

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